Although the vast majority of pregnancies will proceed to the delivery of a healthy baby there are a number of occasions where problems arise during the antenatal period. The advances in medicine and particularly in obstetric ultrasound scanning has led to the ability to identify early babies with congenital anomalies, genetic syndromes and those who fail to thrive in utero. This has led to the development of Fetal medicine(UK- Europe) /Perinatology (in the US) as a subspecialty of obstetrics. The role of the Fetal Medicine Consultant /Perinatologist goes much further than the simple description of the ultrasound finding which traditionally was the job of the radiologist. We actively engage with the parents explaining the findings and what are the implications for the baby and the mother/family during both the antenatal and postnatal period. Furthermore we offer the support needed for the parents to go through emotionally distressing times.
The Fetal Medicine team becomes the central point in offering advice for pregnancy management and co-ordinating the involvement of other related specialties like the neonatologists, pediatric surgeons, pediatric urologist etc.
This is the typical consultation framework;
not all of the above issues are covered in one sitting. This varies depending on the condition discussed and an expert judgment as to how much information the parents can absorb at each visit.
It is important to stress that the Fetal Medicine team is not there to take over care from your Doctor. Our focus is to offer the expert advice and surveillance needed for the best pregnancy outcome. Your Doctor will still have the overall care of the mother and his/her contribution will be an integral part of all management decisions.